Regarded by many as the ultimate Planetary eyepiece, the TMB Supermoncentric 1.25″ range have stood the test of time by those who still use them today. The image shows my own 10mm version that still looks and functions like new after 25+ years.
A 3 element lens assembly with outstanding optics and fantastic internal baffling makes it my number one choice for double star splitting. This is not a wide angle view or has long eye relief, but I find it very easy to use. For double star viewing you need pin points of light with no flaring. For this , I am yet to find a modern eyepiece to match it
This is certainly not your usual Chinese mass produced eyepiece. What you do get is German engineering at its best. Remember I said I’ve had this eyepiece for around 25 years. Take a look at the image and try and find a typical mass produced eyepiece that wears that well. Very expensive to buy new, but if you can find a quality used one, go for it. You wont be disappointed
Posted in Eyepieces
Tagged eyepiece, TMB
The North Lincs astro society were the guest visitors at the Barton area group , which is part of the Lincolnshire wildlife trust. With help from Andy Langford, Steve Berry gave an excellent talk on how to take images of the night sky with a DSLR. This included advice on camera settings, focusing, software etc. Sadly only 7 Barton area group members turned up. But this did not stop the show and Steve did a great job
Afterwards we were lucky to have some clear skies for a brief period. Northern Optics was in attendance with a 12″ Dobsonian and and a short tube Celestron Travelscope-70 for the Barton group to look though. Targets we got to see were the double cluster, Andromeda galaxy, Mizor / Alcor double star and Alberio double star
The Ostara PL 6.5mm eyepiece is a sturdy and well made 1.25″ eyepiece. The 6.5mm is aimed at giving high power views of astronomical targets. There is no rubber eyecup. I found this not to be too much of an issue, but does allow a little stray light in. The internal is silver rather than black, as used in higher end Ostara Plossls.
To test this eyepiece I used a 12″ Dobsonian with a focal length of 1500mm. This gave a magnification of 237x. First off was the Planet Uranus. Once located , a clear blue disc was seen. Seeing was not great with the planet being low down. But other than some ghosting and a little flare, the result was more than acceptable for a lower end eyepiece. In fact I would say better than expected.
Then I turned to the tricky target of the famous double / double star in Lyra. With patience both doubles could be split in two, but only just. A little flaring from the stars made things difficult, but the split was clear. I did test with a higher spec fully multi-coated eyepiece on the same targets to find much sharper results. The the eyepiece in question cost 8x more to buy.
Overall the Ostara 1.25″ PL 6.5mm is a good eyepiece that will do the job if on a budget
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The 70 degree Ostara 2″ 32mm SWA eyepiece is ideal for those wanting a high quality yet low cost solution for great wide field views of the heavens. A fully multi-coated 5 element lens assembly with great internal baffling gives a wide, bright view with good contrast.
The soft fold down eye cup is very comfortable. This can be folded down for spectacle wearers, but there is really any need to do this as the eye relief is very long
The eyepieces comes in a nice gloss black finish on the outside and blackened internals to keep down reflections. Comes threaded to accept 2″ filters
Just as some examples, you will get the magnifications shown below with telescopes used as examples
- Skywatcher 150 f5 Newtonian 23.5x
- Skywatcher 10″ dobsonian 37.5x
- Celestron 8″ SCT 46.9x (with 2″ focuser)
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Get great deep sky long exposure photos with the new Skywatcher adventurer min. With a 3kg pay load capacity it is perfect for DSLR cameras with a standard lens upto 55mm. This means you will be able to get amazing wide field images of the night sky
Also has a time lapse setting for day and night use. With the free WIFI app, you can get control direct from your Android and iOS platforms
Complete with 1/4 and 3/8 tripod connections for use with most tripods. We recommend using as sturdy a tripod as budget will allow
Powered by 2x AA batteries or external source. Polar scope and illuminator included with the full bundle. Camera, tripod and 1kg counterweight extra
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Designed for long distance terrestrial use, the Helios Nitrosport 12×50 binoculars offer sensible 12x magnification in a quality waterproof body. Despite the high power, they also offer a reasonable 86m @ 1000m field of view.
These are a perfect solution for spotting wildlife on the far side of lakes or up mountains for example. Also great for plane and ship spotting. Unlike some 12x binoculars, eye relief remains good at 16mm for spectacle wearers.
If out in the field in all weather, you can relax knowing they are waterproof to IPX standard. In other words 1.5m for 30 minutes. At just under 800g they should be easy to hand hold for most people.
Despite the low cost, there is no cutting corners with the specs. Fully multi-coated optics with phase coated BaK-4 prisms
The Skywatcher USB to serial connector connects to the SynScan handset firmware update cable allowing connection to a USB port on a laptop. Length is 1.5 metres. Compliant with USB 1.1 and windows operating systems XP, 7,8,10. Driver may need to be downloaded for windows 32 and 64 bit
The Celestron RSR adaptor allows you to fit a red dot finder such as the celestron starpointer and starpointer-pro to many binoculars. A no tool set up for ease of use. All you need to so it align the RDF as you would do on a telescope.
With many higher power binoculars with narrower field of views compared with wide field optics, finding a target in the night sky may be a challenge. This adaptor will make finding such objects a breeze, Leaving to to spend more time observing and less time searching.
But do not just think think is only for mounting a RDF. It also acts as a sturdy tripod adaptor for porro prism binoculars. Comes in a black finish, so it will blend in with your binoculars and red dot finder
The Celestron Explorerscope 80AZ is a great starter telescope for the beginner. The mount seems to be an evolution of the powerseeker AZ range with a slow motion rod along the side.
At the time of this overview the focal length is not mentioned. But I would estimate 7-800mm, making it an f8-10. The longer focal length will make it ideal for planetary use. Designed for long distance terrestrial and astronomical use. Complete with what looks like 2 budget eyepieces and a barlow. All of these can be changed for plossls, that will give a much better view. A red dot finder is also included
Celestron are going against the mould a little here with a green finish. But this will make it less loud if used for wildlife watching. The complete mount is a new look compared to existing Celestron AZ mounts
An 8 elements in 5 groups eyepiece lens assembly is just one standout feature of the new Helios Lightquest-HR 10×50 binoculars. This ensures edge to edge quality with comfortable viewing with or without spectacles on.
Another clever addition is caged shock proof prisms that should absorb many knocks and bumps. Exception optics that are housed in an almost retro designed body. But although the style looks old fashioned, there is nothing old about the magnesium alloy body with a soft leatherette outer
As standard these are nitrogen waterproofed to IPX& standard, meaning not only will they keep out the damp, they are also waterproof for a depth of 1 metre for 30 minutes
These binoculars are aimed for mid to long range use. But in particular low light oberving and wide field astronomy. At 1320g these are no lightweights. But that is due to the solid construction built to last. If you do find them too heavy to hand hold, they do come with a sturdy tripod adaptor as standard