Could the Celestron Inspire telescope range be the most feature packed starter telescopes at an affordable price to date ?
- Versions include
- Celestron Inspire 70mm AZ f10 #22401
- Celestron Inspire 80mm AZ f11 #22402
- Celestron Inspire 100mm AZ f6.6 #22403
So lets have a quick glance at the features you get as standard, and then ask yourself what other telescope in the same range offer the same
- A built in smartphone adapter in the main lens cap
- Comes as standard with a 90 degree prism diagonal, allowing correct image for terrestrial use
- Starpointer Pro finder
- Focus micrometer. Allows you to return to the same point of focus much faster
- Built in red light torch than illuminates the accessory tray
- Single movement ultra fast tripod set up
- Free 90 day trial to Slooh astronomer
- Free download of SkyPortal
Each version has its own attributes with the longer focal length 70mm and 80mm refractors giving higher powers, while the 100mm version offers stunning wide field views with a faster f-ratio for imaging
Click HERE to buy from Northern Optics
The Ostara 6 piece compact telescope eyepiece and filter set nicely bridges the gap between the budget sets and the £100+ options. In the kit you get three Ostara HR fully coated 1.25″ eyepieces with a sensible range of 5mm, 15mm and 25mm. These focal lengths will be ideal for most situations.
Also in the box you get an Ostara 1.25″ crystalview moon filter and #3 Polarising filter. All of which are presented in a compact but sturdy aluminium case, which has been pre-cut. Case shown upper right
The outer box is surrounded by a colourful “pull over” outer layer which makes it look very smart if presenting as a gift idea
Click HERE to buy from Northern Optics
The Hawke Endurance 12-36×50 spotting scope is a great example, as with many of the latest spotting scopes, you do not need a large aperture to get a bright image. Fully multi-coated optics with Dielectric BaK-4 prism gives outstanding performance across the range.
This was confirmed with this delightful little spotter getting the best compact travel scope award in the 2016 best binocular awards.
Click HERE to buy
Northern Optics are having Optics weekends every weekend (**see notes below ) at the Waters` edge visitor centre , Barton Upon Humber, North Lincolnshire. Unlike many dealers who are on-line only, you get a chance to try before you buy from a good choice of binoculars, monoculars, spotting scopes, tripods, telescope eyepieces and various other related accessories. Astro telescopes will not be on display. See photo top right
With views looking over the country park and lake, it is a great chance to test various optics on wildlife and surrounding countryside. Binoculars in particular really need to be tested first, as one set that suits one person may not be suitable for the next person.
Rest assured if you ask for advice, you will get an impartial response will no hard sell.
Prices range from budget to advanced
A cafe , children’s play area and gift shop are also on site, as well as being a tourism information centre
**Open days are subject to change, due to other events at the centre and Northern Optics having open days elsewhere. Keep checking the main website at Northern Optics for any updates
Around 20 members attended the North Lincs astro meeting on the 6th Feb 2017..We started proceedings with John Suffill giving a brief talk about the latest astro news. This was followed by Chris Roche giving an excellent talk about the Moon, which among many topics explained about tides, Lunar formation and craters.
The members were treated to some end of year clearance bargains on binoculars from Northern Optics , most of which were snapped up by the bargain hunters.
Thanks as always for the Lincolnshire wildlife trust for the use of the venue and Ruth for opening up. And as usual a big thank you to Malcolm and Glenys for the teas and refreshments
For more deatails about the North Linconshire astronomy society click HERE
The Acuter 8×21 monocular is a lovely little mini scope that is an ideal take anywhere solution. Looking through the eyepiece, you are greeted with a wide view, which 128m @ 1000m . The image is very good considering the small size of the objective lens..Whites are more of a creamy white rather than a bright white, but remember these cost around £8.99
Colours and excellent in general, with blackened internal edges help enhance contrast and brightness. Handling is very good despite the small size. The focus is easy to adjust and stays in place. Eye relief is not long enough for spectacle wearers. Ultra light at 80g and just 88mm long. Complete with soft pouch and wrist strap.
The Visionary classic 16×50 binoculars on the outside look just like the other 7×50, 10×50 and 12×50 variants. With the option of 16x, these are aimed more at plane and ship spotters rather than birdwatching.
They come with the standard Bk7 prisms and fully coated optics. Although they do not give the same results and more expensive ones like the Visionary B4 or HD range, they perform adequately and do the job for the price. Unlike some budget binoculars, these have really nice blackened edges to help improve contrast and brightness.
As these give a high magnification, you can hold steady for short periods, but a mount of some kind is recommended if using for longer periods. Handling is excellent and controls are smooth and easy to use.
Come complete with a standard soft nylon case and strap. Lens caps are also included. For spectacle wearers, eye relief is not long, so you will only see 50% of the view
Recommended binoculars for this £30-£40 range
The Ostara Diamond APO 42mm binoculars are ideal for those wanting to take the step into premium binoculars. Recently I was fortunate to have a set of the 8×42 and 10×42 to test.
Starting from the beginning you see a large black box that would be more suited to 50-70mm binoculars. Then when you open it up you see why. There is heavy padding around an aluminium case. Open this to find the binoculars, strap and carry case..On the subject of the case, this is the only thing that stops me giving them a 100% review. So we,ll have to settle for 99.9 out of 100. It is a standard nylon case which is usable, but not apt for such high end binoculars. But I,m sure the dealer will upgrade if you ask nicely..
So lets get on to the binoculars. Some will say at 900g they are heavy. I would say well built. Take into account the triplet APO lens assembly and solid body will add to the weight. They feel well balanced in the hands, with focus and dioptre easy to use.
With the 8×42 the 129m field of view is not as wide as some with 143m @ 1000m, but still gives a picture window view. Note that some binoculars with wider field of views, sometimes sacrifice edge of field quality to achieve this. So with this in mind, the Ostara Diamonds main priority is image quality over anything else. The field on both models is flat across the view with minimal bowing of straight lines.
As for the optics, you get virtually no false colour other than right on the edge. But this is what you would expect from binoculars costing £569 – £599. Contrast and colours are a match for carl Ziess and Leica in the sub £1000 range. This was confirmed by the 2 customers who bought them from us after looking at buying the two premium brands mentioned above. Even though they had not heard of the diamond range, they were obviously connoisseurs of high end optics and found on both occasions ticked every critical requirement in the box
Without doubt given the rarity and on line reviews of these stunning binoculars, they are one of the best kept secrets from Ostara. Difficult to find now from a few specialist dealers, I would urge you to test a set before spending £1000+ on other premium brand binoculars
Below is a list of speakers for the Lincoln astronomy society from February – April 2017. Location is west street Lincoln LN1 3TZ.
Meetings normally take place on the first Tuesday of each month. See the main website http://www.lincolnastronomy.org/index.html for more details
- 7th Feb 2017 – Michael Czajkowski – Pluto
- 7th March 2017 – Peter Rea – The space shuttle story part tw0
- 4th April 2017 – Paul Cotton – Finding colour in the night sky