How to change 1.25″ spotting scope eyepieces

Many modern day spotting scopes now come with a 1.25″ zoom eyepiece as standard. An advantage of this is that many 1.25″ telescope eyepieces can be used on these scopes.

The video below shows how to remove and attach eyepieces on such spotting scopes to ensure a secure fit and how to take care of the eyepiece. Note that when you remove and replace these eyepieces, the compression ring on the OTA is quite a tight fit, so if you need to turn the eyepiece, do so in a clockwise rotation. The reason for this is explained in the video.


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North Lincs astro meeting 8th January 2018

Peter Rea was the guest speaker for the Jan 2018 meeting at the North Lincs astro society . He gave us an excellent talk on Apollo 15, including the Moon walks and trips in the rover.  As with all Peter,s lectures, it was visually stunning with some incredible 3D images.

Thank you as always to the Lincolnshire wildlife trust for the use of the venue + Malcolm and Glenys, not only for the teas and refreshments, but also boosting the numbers at recent meetings by inviting friends. Around 27 in total were present.

As always Northern Optics was present with a selection of astro accessories

Image of Apollo 15 upper right courtesy of NASA

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Skywatcher StarTravel ST80 telescope eyepieces

Unlike many Skywatcher telescopes including the ST80 OTA (optical tube assembly), the Skywatcher Startravel 80 AZ3 comes with a couple of plossl eyepieces instead of the usual modified achromatic 10mm and 25mm stock eyepieces.

These plossl eyepieces come in 12.5mm and 26mm. Both have a very attractive silver finish, better optics and much more substantial, with you instantly find them a heavier eyepiece compared to the M/As.

The 12.5mm is multi-coated with a grove on the barrel for a more secure fit. However the 26mm is fully coated. But do not let this put you off, as the coatings are excellent and eye relief is long. Only downside with the 26mm is the lack of a fold down eye cup. This makes it a little tricky to use if not wearing spectacles.  But this is a minor gripe, and there is no such issue with the 12.5mm as it has shorter eye relief.

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Hawke Nature-Trek 15x50mm monocular review #35201

The higher magnification of the Hawke Nature-Trek 15×50 monocular makes it ideal for long distance subjects such as Plane , Ship spotting as well as distant terrestrial targets.

With such high power, holding steady will be an issue. But this model comes with a handy hand grip and mini tripod. The case is a standard nylon option with belt loop and room to fit the mini tripod inside. There is a tripod thread on the body if you wish to attach to a full sized tripod, car window mount etc.

Despite the (on paper) narrow view of 66m @ 1000m, it seems very comfortable to look through. Sadly only 10mm eye relief makes it unsuitable for spectacle wearers. The eye cup does not twist out.

The exit pupil of 3.33 is not as wide as many combinations such as 8×42, but is more than adequate to give a bright image with true colours. Contrast is a little down on the 10×50 version, but well within tolerances.

Handling is very easy with a large and smooth focus wheel which can be used with gloves on.

Despite being best for long distance, the close focus of only 2.5m is excellent and an added bonus. Weight is 415g. Other specs include BaK-4 prisms, fully multi-coated optics and nitrogen waterproofing.

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Baader Microstage II camera adapter #2450330

The latest version of the Baader microstage II camera adapter was been widened to 25mm to allow a secure grip of your telescope or spotting scope eyepiece. Just like the older version it allows you to swing the camera to one side while remaining attached to the eyepiece.

Unlike prime focus photography, imaging through the eye piece makes it more suitable for compact cameras and smart phones (may need an extra adapter)

Secure grip! 25mm wide eyepiece clamp, for safely holding heavy cameras without any torsion.
•Much more stiff and rigid construction than all clones
•Sturdy construction made of metal and plastic
•Carries and aligns compact cameras with standard photo-thread
•Foldable, compact construction
•Very light-weight (215 g) and very sturdy
•For cameras with a weight of up to 1.5 kg
•Fits to all eyepieces with diameters between 29 and 63mm
•Dimensions: 17,5x12x2,6 cm / 7 x 5 x 1 ” (folded)
•Incl. soft-leather bag – for scratch-free storage together with your expensive optical equipment
•Clickstop 3D camera support arm – perfect for all kinds of spotting scopes
•Great for birding, target shooting and much more

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Celestron C90 / 4SE t-adapter #93635-A

The #93635-A allows fitting of a t-ring for prime focus (no eyepiece used) imaging through a Celestron 4SE and C90 (not the current model). The solid metal adapter screws on to the OTA in place of the visual back. With the current C90 model, you do not need this, and can connect a t-ring direct.

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Celestron Eclipsmart solar filter

Announced in the UK for 2017 the Celestron eclipsmart solar filter is at first glance a white light filter. But on the inside there is a darker sheet that gives an orange effect. More may be introduced. But at this point they are only for the 6″ SCT, with the 8″ SCT hopefully soon. Just like the objective cover, they clip safely in place. This filter is for both visual and imaging.

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Minox BF 10×25 binoculars review #62032

As with all minox binoculars, the BF 10×25 binoculars feel very solid,  yet have an extremely smooth focuser and twist eye cups. The right eye dioptre also moves freely, yet stays in place once set.

Handling is very easy. As with the rest of the BF range, the field of view is not as wide as many other models. But do not let this put you off, as the view you do get is crisp and bright with good contrast. The BF range is classed as their starter model, yet optically and specification wise is as good or better than some other brands premium lines.

Comes with a better than average case and strap. Sadly no lens caps, but these should be available if you ask your dealer.

Nitrogen gas filled for use in all conditions. 15.5mm eye relief for spectacle wearers. Despite the solid construction, only weigh 300g


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Minox MS 8×25 Macroscope #62206

Unlike many monoculars, the Minox 8×25 macroscope is called so because as well as a high performance monocular, it also makes a useful microscope. The ability to focus 14 inches away makes it a great all round solution for close up work as well as general use.

Setting new standards in what a small 25mm objective can achieve, the Minox 8×25 gives outstanding brightness with less false colour than many so called  ED optics. The field is extremely flat, and this is where many compact objectives fall short.

Easy to handle and focus. Other features include Minox M* lens coatings as seen on their premium binoculars and argon gas waterproofing. Comes complete with a soft case.

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Levenhuk zeno visor G1 head magnifier

The Levenhuk G1 magnifier is in effect a 20x mag loupe you can wear like a pair of spectacles. Main benefit is that you are now hands free for a better experience at looking at very close up objects. You also get a handy little built in light to illuminate the subject.

This product comes in attractive retail packing and comes complete with a battery

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